Our team is committed to help church leaders experience a fully funded vision. Through our teaching on stewardship and leadership, we want to always make you aware of anything that could have an impact on the stewardship at your church.
The new tax reform that passed in early 2018 is one of those events. There is a specific change that could have a direct effect on church giving, and it hasn’t been fully realized by the general public at this time.
In the past, if a person filed a “married, filing jointly” return, the standard deduction was $12,700. It has now been increased to $24,000. In other words, if the family’s total itemized deductions on Schedule A [GIVING, taxes paid, interest paid, etc.] do not exceed the $24,000 standard deduction, they will just take the standard deduction.
This could very well result in the following scenario between the family and their tax preparer:
FAMILY: “Here are our giving records for the year.”
TAX PREPARER: “Those don’t matter. You’ll be taking the standard deduction.”
Do you see the potential problem?! It is estimated that about 80% of the families who previously itemized their taxes will now move to the short-form and take the standard deduction. Yes, their giving was tax-deductible, but it really made no difference in their taxes at all.
There are specific things you can do to communicate about this change to your financial contributors and help ensure that giving is positively impacted as a result. I’ve prepared a video to show an overview of this issue and offer some next steps your church could put into action. It’s available HERE – ON DEMAND.